A mom reported recently to me that her son’s teacher is pushing for an ADHD diagnosis. While this mom is taking the school’s comments seriously, she and her husband are also seeing the bigger picture. She told me, “He is only seven – and a happy, smart, loving boy… and I think we just all need to put our heads together to figure out how to best motivate him but in a positive way.”
This is the right approach… not rushing into using labels for early struggles, or worse, starting a seven year old on a possible life-long course of medications he may not need.
Nationally, more and more boys are being diagnosed with ADHD – and in my opinion – it often has nothing to do with a true disorder. It’s more about improper teaching methods and sedentary classroom approaches and misunderstanding how boys think and learn.
Schools don’t look at themselves. Instead, they too often focus on blaming boys (and their brains) for tuning out in class. Schools rush to use psychological tests. Worse, they casually hand out behavior rating scales designed to find ADHD. They put time and energy into highly subjective diagnoses – rather than doing what we know works to spark the developing minds of young boys and men.
What boys need to learn is simple. Moving while thinking, promoting hands-on activities, healthy competition, and spending less time sitting and prepping for standardized tests.